Aiden Eddy had two goals and an assist last Thursday and Rowan Zapisocki scored twice on Friday as the Lake Cowichan Kraken earned a pair of wins in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League play.
Eddy led the way in a 6-2 win over the Nanaimo Buccaneers at the Nanaimo Ice Centre on Thursday. The Bucs scored the lone goal of the first period, but the Kraken came back strong in the second, taking the lead on goals by Bryce Burnett, Eddy and Zapisocki. Nanaimo got back within a goal late in the period, but the Kraken struck for three more in the third from Donovan Griffin, Eddy and new addition Dylan MacTavish. Jake Hebert made 27 saves as the Kraken outshot the Bucs 37-29.
“I didn’t necessarily like our first period,” head coach Dan Whiteford said. “I thought we did some things well, but we didn’t do what we needed to be successful. We came out in the second with a better design on how to go forward.”
The Bucs remain dead last in the VIJHL standings, with just a single win in 28 games, which makes it even more important to get those wins.
“I tell the guys that I go into every game thinking we can win every game,” Whiteford said. “But the games we should win are the games we need to win.”
Zapisocki had two goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-2 win over the Port Alberni Bombers at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena on Friday, but defence was the Kraken’s main focus.
“I’ve said before that we need to learn how to win games 3-2,” Whiteford said. “I thought we played maybe our best 60-minute game so far. We had a couple of mistakes on the penalty kill, but I thought the boys played well in all aspects of the game.”
Mitchell Billings also scored for the Kraken, and Donovan Griffin had an empty-netter. Josh Robins made 36 saves as the Kraken outshot the Bombers 46-38.
The Kraken have a busy weekend coming up as they play host to the Bucs on Friday at 7:15 p.m., visit the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Saturday, and then return home on Sunday to face the Peninsula Panthers at 5:30 p.m.
“Nanaimo, forget about their record; if you don’t show up to play, they’ll put an L in your column.” Whiteford said. “Comox, we’re chasing them, so every point is big. And Peninsula, they’re playing good hockey; that will be a tough test on Sunday.”